The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says it is working to ensure issuance of midstream and downstream petroleum regulations for industry’s growth.
The authority said that when the regulations were finally published, they would be required to be gazetted by the Ministry of Justice.
Mr Ogbugo Ukoha, the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the end of its stakeholders’ consultation forum on regulations.
The forum which opened on August 1, was attended by stakeholders from Chevron, TotalEnergies and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria to bequeath the industry with laws and policies to enable investment in the sector.
The 10 regulations considered by the stakeholders were; Gas Pricing, Domestic Demand and Delivery Regulations; Natural Gas Pipeline Tariff Regulations and Midstream and Downstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations.
The regulations included Environmental Regulations For Midstream And Downstream Petroleum Operations In Nigeria; Midstream and Downstream Environmental Remediation Fund Regulations and Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund Regulations.
Others are Petroleum (Transportation And Shipment) Regulations; Assignment and Transfer of Licences and Permits Regulations; Petroleum Pipeline Regulations and Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Operations Regulations.
Ukoha said the first traditional requirement of the authority as a regulator was to engage with stakeholders to propose draft regulations to people, consult and review their feedback before issuing the regulations.
According to him, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) captured this process and required that it has to publish the regulations and after 21 days invite the stakeholders to listen and make considerations.
“So, we released 10 draft regulations across board and two more draft regulations but the consultation we were just concluding was for the 10 regulations.
“We got rich and intensed feedback from stakeholders, what is left for us to do now is to go back and reflect on it and utilise the good part ultimately for the benefit of Nigerians and growth of the industry.
“The reviewed regulations will be forwarded to the ministry of justice after for gazetting,” he said.
Ukoha said the regulations which were published online firstly got hundreds of rich written responses from stakeholders while the three syndicates group established at the forum made considerations and challenges clarified.
The director explained that the authority was mindful of the timeline set by the PIA itself.
Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on Saturday in Abuja said the Petroleum Industry Regulators 1st Golf Invitational is an avenue for bonding and networking with stakeholders in the industry.
Komolafe made the remarks during the tee-off of the invitational golf tournament at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 120 golfers were invited to take part in the maiden edition of amateur event being hosted and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
The golf event tagged the ‘Petroleum Regulators’ tournament is a one-day event shot gun format event with players grouped into ladies, men and veterans categories.
The NUPRC boss told newsmen that the tournament would provide an avenue for networking, collaboration, partnership and the promotion of general wellbeing for players and other partners through golfing.
He added that the tournament would also serve as a tool to boost the productivity of its manpower.
“Quite frankly, there is a positive correlation between physical health and productivity and as you aware, in the oil and gas sector we as a matter of necessity need productivity.
“So, it is in the realisation of this fact that the NUPRC decided to put together this tournament in collaboration with its sister agency, NMDPRA.
“More so, I am certain that the tournament will not only make us healthier sports men and women, it will create the enabling environment for us to network and acquaint ourselves in a less formal setting.
“According to a popular quote , “Golf is like a love affair, if you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun, if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart.”
“On a lighter note, I assure you, we will have fun with the tournament today and so there will be no heartbreaks whatsoever,” he said.Chief Executive, Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Gbenga Komolafe, in white t-shirt (middle) and Dr Ogbugo Ukoha, the representative of the Authority Chief Executive, NMDPR, Mr Farouk Ahmed, in pink with other members of staff, at the Petroleum Industry Regulators 1st Golf Invitational in Abuja
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which he said had brought the much-desired stability for the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
He added that the commission was committed to sustainable development, stressing that the PIA had boosted investors confidence and also culminated in the creation of two pioneer regulatory agencies; the NUPRC and the NMDPRA.
“At the NUPRC, we are committed to the sustainable development of our nation’s huge hydrocarbon resources in the overriding interest of our country and that of our invaluable stakeholders.
“This we do businesses and creating additional revenue streams for government and the investors in the upstream sub-sector for development of Nigeria’s social infrastructure,” he said.
Ogbugo Ukoha, who represented the Authority Chief Executive, NMDPR, Farouk Ahmed, at the event noted that the tournament had come to stay, adding that the Authority was committed to the general well being of its staff members.
“There’s always a first step. We’ve just been in here for 30 days and already we are starting off very strongly with this tournament.
“Golf is a wonderful game and I’ve been involved in it for about 20 years now and a member of this great club.
“The game is indeed very necessary and good for the physical and general well being which is a priority for the authority as well.
“Our staff and the industry should first be healthy and then have social connections and our work will become a joy at the end of the day.
“I am sure that both staff and well wishers of the industry will enjoy today’s game,” he said.
Maryrose Richard-Obioha, the Lady Captain of the club, expressed gratitude to the NUPRC and the NMDPRA for their support of the sport at the club.
“This is a welcome development to the club and we are indeed very excited to have a lot of these big companies and institutions coming to sponsor and support Golf here in the club.
“We are still looking forward to sponsorship and hosting of more tournaments here at the IBB International Golf and Country Club,” she said.
Nigeria Film Corporation Managing Director Dr Chidia Maduekwe said President Muhammadu Buhari was not opposed to the emergence of his successor from the geopolitical zone of the South East.
Mr Maduekwe said this when interacting with reporters at his country home in Ohafia to mark his 68th birthday, which officially fell on October 15.
He said it was malicious for people to portray Buhari as an enemy of the people of the Southeast, adding that the president's political background indicated otherwise.
“It is not true that the president does not want an Igbo extraction president, he rather supports the cause.
According to him, there is no way that Buhari hates Igbo and in 2003 he chose the late Chuba Okadigbo, a prominent Igbo, as his presidential running mate.
“In 2007 he also selected another prominent Igbo man, Chef Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, as his running mate.
"It is possible that one or the other of these two Igbo personalities succeeded him, if Buhari had been elected in 2003 or in 2007", he declared.
Maduekwe further said that the South East had received a fair share of the president's political appointments and the distribution of development projects in the country, with many Igbo already appointed to strategic offices by the president.
He cited the appointment of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume (Imo) as chairman of the board of directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He also mentioned Mr. Ogbugo Ukoha (Abia) as Executive Director of Distribution System, Storage and Retail Infrastructure of Nigeria Intermediate and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
He asked, "Why don't we celebrate these appointments of our people by the president and stop criticizing him?"
Mr. Maduekwe described the second Niger Bridge, which is nearing completion, as one of the current administration's multibillion naira projects.
He said that although President Goodluck Jonathan's administration designed the project, it later became a tool for political campaigning.
“But this administration has started the execution and is determined to complete and deliver the project,” he said.
He also praised the president for solving the road infrastructure deficit in the southeast, saying that in addition to the bridge, he has done well on the roads.
Mr. Maduekwe recalled that the Arochukwu-Ohafia road, which Buhari started in 1984 as a military head of state, has been abandoned by successive administrations.
"Isn't it commendable that the same Buhari awarded a contract for the road to its completion?"
He also said that one of the three state-of-the-art diagnostic centers built by Buhari's government was located at the Umuahia Federal Medical Center.
He also cited the reconstruction of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, as another flagship project of the Buhari administration in the southeast.
“Why can't we appreciate the man who has done so much for us? We are not fair to the president, ”Maduekwe said.
He disagreed with the allegation of imbalanced appointments against the president, saying the appointments reflected the principle of the federal character.
According to him, before Buhari's election in 2015, between 60 and 70% of political appointments were biased in favor of the South-South and the South-East.
"So when he arrived he tried to create a balance and he did so in accordance with the principle of the federal character of ensuring fairness in the division of political functions," Maduekwe said.
He said Buhari had performed better than its predecessors, stressing that "no previous administration in the country has launched historic infrastructure masterpieces like Buhari."
Mr. Maduekwe also defended the current administration's external borrowing, saying, “We don't borrow for food.
"Everything the president borrows is related to infrastructure and projects."
He added that while Jonathan's administration has raked in $ 400 billion, "Buhari's administration has barely $ 100 billion."
Mr. Maduekwe also spoke about the country's film industry, its programs and policy initiatives to reposition and lead the sector towards greater prosperity.
He said the domestic music and film industry has remained the arrowhead of the entertainment industry around the world, describing it as "the fruit at hand."
"According to the report of the National Bureau of Statistics, it is the second largest industry generating jobs, after agriculture," he said.
Mr Maduekwe said the company has set up a mobile film school and intends to replicate it in strategic states of the federation to train future artists in the film production value chain.
He also said the organization had signed a memorandum of understanding with Nestlé Plc and the National Communications Commission.
He said the essence of the collaboration was to make Nigeria a hub for film entrepreneurship in Africa and globally.
“My ambition is to turn our young people into a huge market because there are a lot of knowledgeable people with practical skills.
"I also plan to make Nigeria the driving force behind the film industry globally by providing hands-on training and skills to make the industry competitive."
Mr Maduekwe, born October 15, 1953, thanked God for keeping him alive, despite the deadly challenges he had to overcome, including the Nigerian Civil War.
The doctor, who was the media director of the Buhari campaign organization in 2014, thanked the president for finding him fit to lead the national film company.